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Peaky Blinders actress Helen McCrory did not film any scenes for series six

Helen McCrory did not film any scenes as her iconic character Aunt Polly in the sixth and final series of Peaky Blinders following her cancer diagnosis.

The actress, who died last year aged 52, did not get the chance to appear in any scenes and creators of the BBC drama had to rewrite ‘vast sections’ of the show.

Fans of the show will be heartbroken to learn that Helen will not feature in the final installment of the gangster family epic.

 Heartbreaking: Helen McCrory did not film any scenes as her iconic character Aunt Polly in the sixth and final series of Peaky Blinders following her cancer diagnosis (pictured February 2020)

Filming for the last series was brought to a standstill in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and resumed in January 2021.

Helen swore friends to secrecy as she faced gruelling breast cancer treatment and was unable to take part in filming for Peaky Blinders.

She passed away in April last year. The Harry Potter star appeared on TV to promote the Prince’s Trust only six weeks before her death, and shared her secret struggle with ‘very, very few people’. 

A spokeswoman told the Sun: ‘Helen did not film with us in series six but Polly is an ever-present part of the show.

Tragic: The actress, who died last year aged 52, did not get the chance to appear in any scenes and creators of the BBC drama had to rewrite 'vast sections' of the show (pictured series 5)

Tragic: The actress, who died last year aged 52, did not get the chance to appear in any scenes and creators of the BBC drama had to rewrite ‘vast sections’ of the show (pictured series 5)

‘She is forever the matriarch of the Shelby family and her presence is always felt by Tommy and the rest of the family. Her influence is an integral part of the season.’

The broadcast date for the new series has been pushed back after Covid delayed post-production. 

According to reports, Aunt Polly was set to have a larger role in the new series, before she had to be rewritten out of the script.

Helen played Polly Gray since series one which aired in 2013 and became a household name thanks to the part and her role in Harry Potter.

Sad news: Fans of the show will be heartbroken to learn that Helen will not feature in the final installment of the gangster family epic (pictured February 2020)

Sad news: Fans of the show will be heartbroken to learn that Helen will not feature in the final installment of the gangster family epic (pictured February 2020)

She last played the role in 2019. 

Her final TV role was in the autumn of 2020, portraying Prime Minister Dawn Ellison opposite Hugh Laurie in the BBC political drama Roadkill.

Following Helen’s death, her husband Damian Lewis wrote on Twitter: ‘I’m heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer…

‘The beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family.

‘She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.’ 

Love: Following Helen's death, her husband Damian Lewis wrote on Twitter: 'I'm heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer...'

Love: Following Helen’s death, her husband Damian Lewis wrote on Twitter: ‘I’m heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer…’

He later revealed his late wife had urged him to find love again just two weeks before her death, adding she had shown ‘no fear, no bitterness’ and ‘no self-pity.’

Writing in The Sunday Times, the actor said Helen told him and their children, daughter Manon, 14, and son Gulliver, 13, that she wanted ‘Daddy to have lots of girlfriends’.

He wrote: ‘She has been utterly heroic in her illness. Funny, of course — generous, brave, uncomplaining, constantly reminding us all of how lucky we’ve been, how blessed we are. 

‘Her generosity has extended to encouraging us three to live. Live fully, take opportunities, have adventures.

Heartbroken: In April, Damian announced the Peaky Blinders star passed away after a 'heroic' battle with cancer

Heartbroken: In April, Damian announced the Peaky Blinders star passed away after a ‘heroic’ battle with cancer

‘Only a couple of weeks ago she said to us from her bed, ‘I want Daddy to have girlfriends, lots of them, you must all love again, love isn’t possessive, but you know, Damian, try at least to get though the funeral without snogging someone.’

Damian also wrote of his heartbreak that Helen had left their children ‘too early’ but they have been prepared for life as she taught them to be ‘courageous’. 

He stood by the actress’ side during her illness, with Helen brushing off her hoarse voice in her final TV appearance last month to selflessly talk about their charity work.

The couple’s devotion to one another shone brightly for all to see, with Lewis saying the actress died peacefully at home surrounded by ‘peace and love’ and their children.  


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